Tag: darren o’day

Wild Mets Predictions

The National League predictions have been posted, so now it’s time for New York Mets – specific prophecies. You may like some of them, you’ll likely hate a few of them, and nearly all of them are unlikely to occur. But what the heck, let’s go …

The key to the Mets’ success this year will be tied to health and the production of Carlos Delgado.

Jose Reyes will hit 25 triples, 17 of which will come at home in Citi Field.

Johan Santana will win 21 games, and take the Cy Young.

John Maine will struggle so mightily in the first half that he will be sent to the minors to work out issues with his mechanics and command.

Livan Hernandez will be the tortoise and Oliver Perez the hare, and Livan will quietly emerge as the Mets #3 starter by year’s end, posting 13 victories.

Maine and Perez will combine for less than 20 wins.

Darren O’Day and Sean Green will combine for 20 decisions in middle relief.

Mike Pelfrey will take a no-hitter into the 9th inning, but settle for a one-hit shutout.

Tim Redding will throw less than 50 innings all season.

Luis Castillo will receive consideration for the All-Star Game, and finish the year with a .295 AVG., .375 OBP, and 28 SB.

Danny Murphy will have trouble keeping his average above .250 in the first six weeks of the season, and Gary Sheffield will take over as the starting leftfielder.

Sheffield will be a key run producer for the Mets, and finish fourth on the team in RBI.

Very few “Putz” jerseys will be sold by the Mets, for obvious reasons.

Not one “Shawn Green” jersey will be sold to a patron thinking it’s a “Sean Green” jersey.

Jeremy Reed will substitute for a disabled starter at some point in the season and go on a tear, making fans almost forget Endy Chavez.

Reese Havens will rocket through the Mets’ minor league system, and be considered for a September call-up.

Ryan Church will be traded to the Rockies.

Aaron Heilman will struggle against the Mets, but will otherwise succeed in Chicago. He’ll get a few starts when Rich Harden goes down and prompt the Cubs to move Sean Marshall back to the bullpen.

The Mets’ lack of a second LOOGY will be a major point of concern, and trade rumors will swirl around the names Eddie Guardado, Matt Thornton, and Alan Embree. The Mets will wind up with Bobby Seay, against whom lefties hit .303 lifetime.

The Mets will have a strong record aoutside the division, but will be only a few games above .500 against NL East teams.

Jose Valentin will make it back to the 25-man roster before the end of the season.

Bobby Ojeda will start doing commercials for the Hair Club for Men.


Mets ST Game 9

A few notes …

J.J. Putz

Putz, of course, did not play for the Mets but rather for Team USA in the WBC. Putz was called on to close out a 6-5 ballgame against Canada, and notched his first save in a nail-biter of a ninth inning. The good news for Mets fans is that Putz was humming his fastball at 94 MPH. So, the worries about velocity which we pointed out previously can be put to rest.

Dillon Gee

Gee looked much more comfortable and relaxed in comparison to his ST debut a few days ago. He exuded confidence, and though he definitely was not picking around the plate in the same way he was against the Cardinals, he also wasn’t throwing as many strikes as expected, going full count to several hitters in his two-inning stint.

Daniel Murphy

Murphy has been an on-base machine, is driving the ball to the outfield gaps, is heady on the bases, and is improving in the field. Ron Darling compared him to Dave Magadan, which to me is a very astute comparison. However I’m not sure I agree with Darling’s assumption that Murphy will hit with more power, since I’m not seeing the bat speed necessary for 40 doubles and 20+ HRs. I still like my own comparison of Murphy to Mike Hargrove — and if Murphy can equal Hargrove’s career, he’ll have a very nice MLB career.

Bobby Kielty

Kielty blistered the ball in his first two at-bats, and hustled all over the place. He has a long, tough road toward a spot on the 25-man roster, but he won’t fail due to lack of effort.

Nick Evans

I love Nick Evans, I really do. He reminds me of a guy I’d expect to see on the ’69 Mets, with his short-cropped haircut and “regular joe” looks. He’s been hitting to the opposite field like its his job, which is good and bad. It’s good because any hitter who hits the other way is a good hitter. It’s bad because Nick’s ticket to the big leagues is hitting for power, meaning homeruns, and generally speaking, that requires pulling the ball. If Evans had above-average MLB speed, and played a position other than first base, I might not be so concerned. But right now he projects as a guy who will hit around .275 with about 15 HR and 25-30 doubles. Those would be strong numbers for a first baseman in 1969, but not quite enough for an everyday job 40 years later.

Wilmer Flores

For 17 years old, he looks impressive. He’s a tall, lanky kid with a remarkably short stroke. In his first frew at-bats, he was too aggressive to make any kind of judgment, but he torched a double down the line in the 7th inning — which surprised me, because his open stance and excessive distance from home plate made me guess that he didn’t like inside pitches. The general consensus of the Mets’ staff is that he compares to fellow Venezuelan Miquel Cabrera, which is an astounding statement. Who knows? Seventeen is young, so there’s a lot of projection. If it’s any help, Cabrera received MVP votes after half a year in the bigs as a 20-year-old — so we may find out quickly whether those comparisons hold water.

The Sidewinders

Darren O’Day was brought in to face Ryan Zimmerman in a pseudo-regular season situation, and he walked Zimmerman on four pitches. However, he seemed to pitch better as he continued along in his two-inning outing, which suggests that maybe he wasn’t properly warmed up when he came into the game. In any case, I’m not yet sold on O’Day, who seems to have issues spotting the ball around the strike zone. I think his head moves around too much during his motion; if he could keep his head still, he’d probably throw more strikes.

Sean Green still doesn’t strike me as being an upgrade over Joe Smith, and I’m not even sure he’s Smith’s equal. His sinker starts at a high spot in the strike zone — about belly-button-high — and doesn’t drop much. And, I’ve yet to see a “punch-out” pitch from him, which means he’ll have to exclusively rely on ground balls for outs.


Roydrick Merritt reminds me of a lefthanded Cecilio Guante. His sidearm delivery may fool lefty hitters some day — IF he can generate just a few more MPH on that fastball, which currently sits around 88. However, it’s very tough for a sidewinder to increase velocity, because they are fighting gravity.

Casey Fossum may be the ultimate enigma. He throws nasty breaking curveballs at three different speeds — 63, 73, and 83 MPH — and he can get his fastball as high as 91. Yet, he’s incredibly hittable. His fastball is fairly straight and flat, and he rides it a little too high in the zone. He tries to make up for that by cutting it, but the result is usually a ball far out of the zone. If this guy can ever figure out what to do with his stuff, he should be successful. But it doesn’t look like that’s happening this spring.

Valerio de los Santos
does not look particularly special. His lefthandedness is the only thing keeping him in camp.

Rene Rivera

Is it me, or is every backup catcher in camp hefty ? Not that there’s anything wrong with being hefty, it just seems like there’s a specific type in mind. Personally, and from experience, I’ve always preferred catchers who were lean, nimble, and athletic, with quick feet. But what do I know?


Mets Get Madden!

During the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday, the Mets selected John Madden during the minor league phase.

No not THAT John Madden …. rather, a 6’4″ righthander out of the San Diego Padres’ system. He’s a nice pick, actually, though his numbers are a little skewed as he’s been old for the levels he’s pitched at. However, he has a herky jerky delivery and a 92-93 MPH sinker, drawing comparisons to Jeff Nelson.

Madden, however, was only one of several intriguing picks by the Mets.

Darren O'DayIn the first round of the Major League Phase — this is the one where you have to keep the guy on your roster all year — the Mets plucked righthander Darren O’Day from the Angels. O’Day just turned 25, and pitched in 30 big league games last year before suffering shoulder issues. Turns out he has a torn labrum and could be out of action for 6-8 months. So why draft him? Because he’s young, he’s talented, and the Mets can start him out on the 60-day DL while he rehabs (he’s reportedly not having surgery). To keep him in the organization, the Mets will have to put him on the 25-man for at least 90 days during 2009 — or for 90 days in 2010.

If you’ve never seen him pitch, O’Day is a lot like, well, the aforementioned Madden — a tall (6’4″) and lanky sidearmer with a deceptive delivery and a sinker-slider repertoire, a la Jeff Nelson, Ryan Madson, etc. Considering his age and his success at Florida U and in the minors, this is a smart, calculated gamble. I like it.

In the second round of the Major League Phase, the Mets took pitcher Rocky Cherry. Cherry has not shown much in 40 MLB games over the last two seasons, and will be 30 next August. He throws a really hard slider and once threw a fastball that once touched 95 but it’s straight and I don’t think he gets it up there anymore. For someone with that kind of velocity, he gets hit harder than he should — in 92 innings over the last two years in the minors, he’s allowed 86 hits. What’s strange is his walk totals are remarkably low in the minors, but abysmal in the bigs (35 BB in 48 MLB IP). Sounds to me like a confidence issue — but can it be overcome? For $50,000, it’s worth the gamble. In my mind he’s another Brian Stokes, but with one good secondary pitch rather than three inadequate ones.

In addition to Madden, the Mets also took outfielder Carl Loadenthal, out of the Braves’ system. I’ve never seen him play, but from his stats he appears to be a Jeff Duncan – type: a LH-hitting outfielder who is fleet of foot, strong in the field, no power whatsoever, decent potential to put the bat on the ball and get on base. He turns 27 at the end of this month and has played only 68 games above AA. In other words, he’s filler material for AAA Buffalo. Since the Mets have been stocking their AAA rosters with ancient hasbeens such as Benito Santiago and Ricky Ledee in recent years, the addition of Loadenthal is somewhat refreshing.

Perhaps the best pick of the draft was the one that wasn’t — no one was plucked from the Mets’ system. This surprised me, since Omar Minaya keeps insisting that their minor leagues are much better than everyone else claims. In all seriousness, I thought for sure the Pirates were going to nab Shawn Bowman, but I suppose his back issues scared them away.

Bottom line is this: Cherry, O’Day, and Madden are EXACTLY the type of minor league relievers the Mets have needed in their farm system for several years. In other words, guys who can be shuttled up and down from AAA and to take some of the load off the “main” relievers. Madden’s a minor league draftee, so he doesn’t have to stay on the 25-man all year — he can ride the Heath Bell shuttle. Cherry can make the team out of spring training, and pitch until he’s ineffective, then pave the way for O’Day, who might be ready by late June. I don’t think any of the three will be a significant contributor, but together they could eat up some garbage innings that would otherwise have to be handled by Pedro Feliciano, etc.